The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
I've been reading this book outloud to my to my kids for the last month for part of our study on Native Americans. It is the story of a young girls adventures over the course of a year. She is a member of the Ojibwa trip that lives on an island in Lake Superior. Smallpox came to their village and many people died, including the baby Neewo, and then there was the recovery and the extremely hard winter. They were finally saved from grief and depression when Pinch ( young boy) stood to close to the fire and then sat in the water bucket.
The great deer had saved their bodies, and Pinche's asurd jump had saved
their souls, for Nokomis said shortly after that her own grandmother had
believed that the soul of the Anishinabeg is made of laughter. If there is
no laughter, the soul dies. Pinch brought laughter back to life. He brought
their souls back into their bodies. The harder they laughed the more they
knew, now, they would survive.
I can relate to this experience, only a few days after our baby died we had a day that brought joy back into our life and lifted the grief and sadness. We had an entire dinner full of deseret. I had been decorating cakes, we had leftover brownies, ice cream, pudding, M & M's, and I don't remember what else. I just remember taking being silly and laughing again. Although this wasn't the type of meal I typically set before my family, it was exactly what was needed that day.
Doctrine and Covenants 42:45-46 says
We had felt sorrow and grief, and peace because we have a hope in the resurrection, but we needed to again feel JOY. Isaac's favorite scripture, maybe not at the time, but shortly thereafter and for a long time was, "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." Kyle will always be remembered in our family with JOY, for he brought joy to all who saw him, with sorrow, for we wish that he could have stayed to be part of our earthly family longer, and as our strength, for our testimonies of joy, of love, of the resurrection, and as an eternal family were strengthen through his short existence her on earth.